Category Archives: Reviews

Old Blue Eyes On My Mind

"Frank Sinatra ... Old Blue Eyes"

“Frank Sinatra … Old Blue Eyes”

Does what I wrote in the past still count? Or once written and read through, could it lose some of its impact? These are my thoughts as I wake up over my coffee. “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, is playing repeatedly in my head, even now. I dreamt about Frank Sinatra, and each time I changed positions in bed, he was singing another one of his hits. Old Blue Eyes himself.

Last night I watched the recording I’d made of HBO’s two-part documentary about Frank Sinatra, “All Or Nothing At All”. I stayed up until 5:30 a.m. as I couldn’t resist watching the entire production. It was four hours well spent. The footage and video coverage brought home the enormity of the vision he’d dreamed about from the time he was a teenager. One that would touch us all. His strong work ethic, dogged determination and hard work, sometimes to the point of exhaustion, was the price he gladly paid in order to reach the stars, becoming a living legend of the twentieth century. When my attention has been captured, I morph into a human sponge to absorb all the details.

Beginning with his difficult entry into this world, baby Frank (weighing over twelve pounds!), nearly didn’t make it. He suffered a broken ear drum and the doctor who was called in to help, most likely used high forceps to pull him from his mother’s womb. He was left with a few scars but his grandmother was a hero for splashing him with cold water, then patting and massaging him to encourage him to survive. We’re so glad she did!

For the music lovers out in the world, Frank Sinatra’s hand in his song arrangements, the motion picture industry, and his inclusiveness of all people, regardless of their ethnic background, when it wasn’t the popular thing to do, is a story you won’t want to pass up. I know I’ll watch it again for the history I wasn’t taught in school, but mostly to review and watch his story unfold. It is personal and thrilling as well. I don’t want give away more than his precious beginnings in life. See for yourself this man who impressed and influenced the world, long before Elvis, or The Beatles did. His impact was huge and is long-lasting. You’ll be amazed at how he gets under your skin.

Copyright © 2015 “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!” All rights reserved.

Advertisements

We Now Stream Netflix

We used to pay $9.99 per month for this service. Many times the DVDs lay around on the console before we ever got around to watching them, or countless times we sent them back unwatched, because we had already seen the movie or series on the television. But still, it was better than going to the video chain store and mulling about, going up and down the aisles. I was glad to shop this way before there was the idea of Netflix, but everyone progresses.

My sister told me for the past two years, that she had been streaming live feed from her computer to her television. Her TV screen is her computer monitor. This sounded too difficult for me to understand to try to do this on my own. I remember I am not on my own … in steps Joe, hero of the day. This May, we got our first flat-screen TV, we also decided to get a blue-ray player. I still don’t know why, but never mind. when Joe turned it on, the display showed up and I noticed some icons on it. Netflix was one and the others I didn’t recognize. What is Pandora … do you know? Next I contacted Netflix and upgraded our account to streaming DVDs. No more waiting for the postal carrier. Guess what. It’s only $7.99 a month!

Many of my readers already know that I am a great lover of the UK, BBC detective and comedy programs that are broadcast on PBS and BBC. After negotiating the tiny arrows (I admit to a few mishaps and had to begin all over again, repeating my email and password). Finally we were signed in.  We searched the titles offered within the categories, and as we scrolled through them, I felt as if we’d had been given a treasure trove. A few minutes later, we found “Luther”.

We truly fell down the rabbit hole last Saturday afternoon. Joe and I watched all ten episodes of “Luther”, one right after the other! It was three in the morning Sunday before we were done. Joe did fall asleep a quarter of the way through the last one, but next morning, while enjoying our Sunday brunch, consisting of, crispy fried bacon, cheddar and spinach omelets, hazelnut coffee, strawberries w/balsamic dressing, we watched the tenth show in the series. We celebrated with a cup of butter pecan ice cream topped with a small drizzle of chocolate sauce.

We researched the lead actor whose name is so different. It is Idris Elba, which was actually shortened from, Idrissa Akuna. His name means “Immortal”. We read on to discover that this first-rate actor has been on the television about two decades. He recently played the role of the captain of the ship in the movie, “Prometheus”. We saw the movie a month ago, and he didn’t use his British accent. He was in other shows I have viewed and I still had no idea I had seen him prior to this series. Wow. I’ll never forget him now that’s for certain.

“Luther”. It is a psychological crime drama that will keep your eyes glued to the screen to find out where DCI John Luther will take his audience next. We highly recommended “Luther”, and BBC America is going to co-produce the third season. The first two seasons won numerous awards and the writers, directors and producers promise the new season is impeccably written, directed and acted. We can’t wait!

* photograph of dvd courtesy of BBC


False Advertising About Food On The Menu

Before we went out to dine tonight , I watched a new commercial for a neighborhood chain restaurant. I love their salad bar and I was eager to try their new pasta dish.

This is what the menu touts:

Lobster Carbonara

Tender lobster blended with a rich Parmesan cream sauce and tossed with peas, bacon, and served over tender linguini pasta.
 
What I got was pasta with tiny chewy pieces of what I hoped was lobster.

I promptly handed my dish back to my lovely server and without apology advised her that the lobster, if indeed that is what it was, was inedible. Dont’cha just hate it when they lure you in (on an empty stomach no less) to be tricked by their false advertising? Well I do. I refuse to pay $17.00 for food that I know I could prepare for $3.99 and it would taste like ambrosia.

I was told that it would be remade right away and sorry for the mix-up. I had ordered it with the express instructions please do not to over cook my seafood as I do not eat it that way. What is the point of ruining food? It’s a waste of time, effort, money and you risk the customer being unhappy, displeased and also losing their future patronage.

I returned to their wonderful salad bar, filled a freshly washed salad plate, returned to our booth and commenced eating. I knew what was yet to come. After ten minutes I remarked to Joe it was funny that the manager on duty had not been over to our table yet. This is their usual method of operation, having the manager come over to find out why food is returned to the kitchen. By the time fifteen minutes had passed and I had eaten another salad (I was just about full at this juncture), the manager appeared. We have spoken numerous times in the past and she immediately recognized me without batting an eyelash.

The manager proceeded to tell me that they were going to make the dish again but this time, they would use real lobster meat from the tail (what did they use the first time?), and did I still want the dish. I ordered it didn’t I? I replied politely that yes, if they were going to cook it properly so it would be tender (as advertised) and that it wouldn’t cost any additional money, then yes, I would love to try it. We smiled at each other and presto … three minutes later I was tasting the delicious dish that I had originally been promised, forty-five minutes previously. She stayed close-by to make certain it was right. I gave her the two-thumbs up and she breathed a sigh of relief.

Why must they lie? Why not just advertise a great salad bar and take your chances that the item on their menu might turn out right or wrong? It should not be left to me to have to send back ill-prepared food, but I do and I refuse to apologize for it.

Movie Review … The Help

We went to see a fabulous film tonight after dinner … not the norm … but we deserved time relaxing and distracting our minds from recent events. But I digress … back to this movie.

It surely grabbed my attention, taught me quite a number of facts and showed me a different perspective than the one I had stored away inside my head. You know, you perceive a thing a particular way and then find out that what you knew was just the frosting on the cake? Well this movie gave that side of things. It was well written and it was told with grace, honesty, integrity, and an intensity of feeling we clearly did not expect. The coming attractions rope in their audience with the lighter issues and laughter. It has a good amount of that as well, but it was true gripping drama, told by women, for women. The actresses gave stunning performances and it is the kind of story that will remain with me for some time.

We both gave “The Help” Two Thumbs Up and an A+. This might start off as a sleeper, but mark my words, it’s going to be nominated for many awards. I want to read the novel.

** Note: I didn’t want to give anything away so if you’re like me and want to see it without bias, then I suggest not clicking the link. 


Oogavé … We Like!

I received a message one day, about a month ago, from a young lady representing this company, Oogavé. She asked if she could ship me an assortment of soft drinks to try in return for my opinion on how they tasted. I decided to agree since I really needed to find a way to wean myself from all those high fructose beverages I loved to drink.

They arrived two weeks ago and between my husband and I, we drank them up in about ten days. They make these flavors: Grapefruit, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Key Lime, Watermelon and Cola. I liked the four flavors that I got to drink. I did not try the Key Lime or the Cream, as I had packed them in my husband’s lunch. Continue reading


Rocking Dinner Rolls

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(quickly click on the right arrow and it looks like a movie)

I have to tell you how wonderful these taste. Try this recipe from Sugar Pies yourself and wrap your family round your little finger. They’ll be begging for more. Check out my post on Half Hour Meals and get the recipe there. You will be very happy you did!


The Golden Globes

Tonight I watched The 68th Golden Globe Awards. I thought it was good, with the exception of a poor performance given by the host Ricky Gervais who seemed bent on putting people down from the beginning of the event up until his parting shot of the ceremony and I quote: “And I want to thank God for making me an atheist.”

This is what Tom Hanks and Tim Allen said as they reached the stage microphone:  Mr. Hanks said, “I can recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian.” Mr. Allen chimed in, “Neither of which he is now.” I feel they both delivered their stern words to an appreciative audience, including the ones at home.

I will say that while I have long enjoyed Ricky Gervais as a comedian and actor, his last HBO special (the one where he shows off his new svelte and muscular body) was hard for me to watch. He has changed and become so cynical and downright mean at times. I was really looking forward to being entertained by him tonight. Sadly, I along with many others, was just disappointed. I want the old Ricky Gervais back!

We’ve been discussing this on BlogCatalog. You can join in there.